April 3 2013
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
SAN ANTONIO -- If Padraig Harrington had it his way, he would have spent Tuesday afternoon fine-tuning his entire game in preparation for the Valero Texas Open. Instead, the Irishman spent an extended amount of time testing out different driver settings in his TaylorMade R1 driver.
Harrington decided to switch drivers after a crack appeared on the face of his 9-degree TaylorMade R11 the week before the Maybank Malaysian Open. Instead of continuing with a similar model, Harrington opted to go with R1 and finished T-6 in the rain-shortened event.
Even though he decided to keep it in the bag this week at the Valero Texas Open, Harrington felt the driver needed some tweaking and decided to go with a more neutral shot shape weight setup, as opposed to his old driver that had a toe-weighted bias.
"The new model, I could have set up the old way," Harrington said, "But probably in hindsight it has a little bit too much bias in it, so trying to go for a more neutral driver, which is better for my golf swing long‑term. So it's a question of working on something like that.
"I've changed back to an absolutely neutral driver rather than a toe‑weighted driver, and it's good for my golf swing. I just have to get used to it and know when I hit a left, it's exactly where it's coming from. And if I hit it right, I know where it's coming from. Whereas, with the old driver, every shot that came out, it was very much a question with the old driver of it being the Indian and not the arrow, because I knew exactly this causes this effect."
Harrington also noted that he could've adjusted the setup of his new driver to mirror his R11, but after thinking it over decided that the club maybe had too much weight in the toe to begin with.
Assuming Harrington makes it to the weekend, he'll have four rounds to get used to the new R1 driver setting before stepping foot on the grounds at Augusta National next week.
"When you get a new driver, there is always an element of, OK, I see this happening. I didn't think I did that. It just takes a while to get used to knowing what a golf club does. So it's taken a little work in terms of swing as well. Then I'll only be able to tell when I get the card in my hand. Hopefully, I'll have to hit a straight shot down the 18 on Sunday, and then I'll really know how good the driver is."